Sunday Chat

This week, we had two drives with car clubs going up to the high country in the northern mountain area of North Carolina. One drive was a history tour starting in South Carolina and ending in Banner Elk, with the leaders telling us about Revolutionary War sites. We had 17 MINIs on that run.

Our mountain roads are not exactly straight.

We went past battle grounds and parks dedicated to history, along with farms and the lovely pastoral scenes so typical of our state. We went by lots of pastures with cows or horses, and some had goats or sheep.

This field of corn was so high, it almost covered up this barn. It made me wish for fresh corn from the field, grilled in the husks and slathered with butter.

This formation on the side of a mountain looked so interesting. But we found out later it is a quarry for crushed stone and gravel.

As we climbed into the high country, the beautiful Blue Ridge lives up to its name.

The other drive was a scouting tour for a drive we will help lead in September. There were seven of us at the start, going up to the starting point in Blowing Rock.

At the park, these adorable baby ducks were having a nap while mom kept a watchful eye on me.

Marvelous rock formations are frequently seen on the roadside. Much of our time this day was on the Blue Ridge Parkway. We needed to go through the two detours to be sure they would still work for our club.

The detours were not bad, one was as pretty a drive as the parkway. When we got back on the parkway after the detour, we stopped at an overlook for a minute just to take in the view.

Lush green leaves on forested areas line the roads of our drives, while warm temperatures persist. Afternoon showers increase the humidity, and it seems summer will go on for a while. The high mountain areas were cooler, and have me longing for the cooler days of Autumn, crisp and quiet mornings on the veranda with a hot cup of coffee as the early dawn sunlight gradually lightens the skies. August seems to drag on, longer than most months. I want to flip my closet to sweaters and corduroy pants, and put my flip-flops and shorts away. I look forward to cozy times in front of the fireplace in my flannel pajamas with a good book. But not quite yet. With the zoom lens on my camera, the view across the valley in the early morning this week has been foggy and still green.

Part of the anticipation is the upcoming Mountain State Fair. Longtime readers know how much I love the fair, and enter lots of competitions. I have been baking lately, and making adjustments to the recipes I’ll enter. But I got news that really frosted my cookies. After developing a killer pork recipe, I found out that the NC Pork council has backed out of sponsoring a competition at the Mountain State Fair this year. I let them know how disappointed I am on their facebook page, a post they immediately took down, the yellow-bellied spineless chickens. So, between that and scheduling conflicts with other events, I can only enter four cooking competitions. So each one has to be really good. This is all I can show you for now for the baking competitions.

I spent an entire day looking through photos from the past year, deciding which ones would make the cut for entering the photography competitions. Participants are limited to five, and sometimes it is difficult to choose. I printed out the photos on glossy paper and mounted them as required on foam core boards.

I pulled quilts for the quilt competition, and more quilted things for entry in Senior, Crafting and Clothing categories. I lay them out flat on the guest bed to minimize creases while we wait. I’ve put the sleeves on the larger ones too. This year I am ready a bit earlier than usual.

I have time to do a wreath, and some cards for the new paper crafts category. I may attempt a beaded Christmas ornament too, we’ll see. In the meantime, I cut up Autumn fabrics this week, and am working on Autumn Jubilee designs. Is it any wonder that I am in the mood for Autumn? I love the colors of the fall season.

Oliver is also enjoying the beginning of the harvest with lots of acorns on the ground. He still gets a treat if he comes by when I am home to notice. Here’s your weekly Oliver fix.

It is an easy week coming up, just one meeting and some pickleball practice, so I might get some sewing done. What’s going on in your part of the world?

15 thoughts on “Sunday Chat

  1. Julie

    No pork contest?! Isn’t NC famous for its pork? It’s the only meat that tastes good. I spied your two ‘cover-girl’ quilts on the bed. We already know they’re prize winners.

  2. You are one remarkable, insanely busy woman at this time of year. That’s too bad about the pork people. The fairs aren’t nearly as big a deal up here and I love that you can enter your work and get the praise it deserves. I saw your jacket on the bed! Definitely a plus. The excursion looks fun. I love driving through NC. Rick’s dad lives on the top of Sugar Mountain in Banner Elk during the summers and I love the view. There are a couple of very nice restaurants there. Beautiful in the winter too (and I’ll bet it rocks in the fall with the color!). I’m not ready for September to begin.

  3. vivoaks

    I couldn’t help but laugh when I read your line about “the yellow-bellied spineless chickens” at the NC Pork Council!! LOL!! My mom, sister and niece all live in the mountains of Western NC, so your posts of your travels in the area always interest me. We’ve never made it to the NC fair, but we attended a local fair here in PA a few weeks back, and it’s always interesting to see what everyone makes to compete. Good luck with all your entries!! 🙂

  4. You explore some beautiful areas, and see some beautiful views on your drives, Carole! Fun to see what you’re working on for the fair, too. It’s too bad about the pork contest, but I’ll enjoy seeing what other cooking you enter!

  5. Mary Jean Cunningham

    I hope the pork people had a good reason for pulling out (pulled pork, LOL?) – I’m sure you’re not the only one who is disappointed. The car drive photos are always like a little trip that I can take from here and the scenery is just beautiful. Good luck with all your fair entries. Our house is so cold on the first floor despite all our efforts to make things better that I am not eager to see the fall and winter come – summer is my favorite season – so nice to be able to go anywhere without extra clothing, wake up to flowers in my yard every day, pick tomatoes and basil for dinner right out of the garden, and I love the extra long sunshine, although the sun is setting so much earlier now, unfortunately for me – weeding at the end of the day suits me as it keeps the direct sun away and is a peaceful time. However, the seasons will do what they will, and I know from my daughter’s years spent in Southern California that one can get tired of living in a place where it does not feel there is a change of seasons. Hello to Oliver!

  6. Joan Sheppard

    If you are in the neighborhood, the Pickleball court is across the street – I can hear the conversations (over the 1960’s music). Looks like you have been very busy, we got as far as Indiana for a wedding yesterday. Haven’t even looked at the sewing room as still taking care of 2 crazy foster pups! But love hearing about the Fair. Is that a wedding pictures in your lineup?

  7. Georgia Kirby

    Hi, Carole,
    Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your blog!! Your flowers are spectacular and It is such fun to enjoy your table decorations! And see Oliver enjoy his sandwich!!
    The Blue Ridge Mountains are so beautiful. I remember the first time I saw them I was on a family trip through the east when I was in junior high. They really are such a beautiful blue and have a soft look about them. We live on the edge of the Rocky Mountains and they look so much different! Nothing soft about the Rockies, but awesome and beautiful just the same! I cannot imagine what the early pioneers thought after traveling across the plains in covered wagons, then seeing those huge Rocky Mountains ahead!! We have such a beautiful country with such diverse natural beauty!!
    I enjoy your book reviews too. I’ve been retired many years now and I’m unable to do many things I enjoyed over the years, but so thankful I can still quilt and read!!
    Blessings abound!!
    Hope to enjoy your blogs a long time yet!!

  8. Wonderful views on your outings Carole, shame about the pork company, but I am sure your other cooking efforts will be well received. We are nearing spring here but the weather is still wintery (wintery for us that is) some bulbs are flowering, the peach tree has blossom and some new leaves are coming on the fig trees. Lovely time of the year.

  9. You are a busy bee Carole! I always enjoy your car club trips through your beautiful mountains, and know how much you enjoy the Fall fair~ good luck on the competitions you enter! Your quilts look beautiful~

  10. Sue Hoover

    Goodness! You have a busy life. So much fun on so many fronts. I cannot believe the Pork Council backed out. Dirty Rottens! Haha!! Oh well, your photos look amazing, your quilts are always winners, and I’m sure your other recipes will garnish a ribbon or two. I’m happy you have a competitive spirit!

  11. Joy B

    I’m ready for fall, too! I always enjoy reading about your State Fair and I hope you win lots of ribbons again this year.

  12. Linda Blewett

    Here in southern Ontario we have had rain, rain and more rain. Yesterday afternoon the skies opened and we were dumped on for the entire afternoon to the point I dumped water out of flower pots this morning. Fall is definitely in the air and some trees are just starting to change colour. The Canada geese are doing their test flights with the young ones. Do they know something we don’t?

  13. always love seeing your drives and I while still hot I am sure the weather will turn soon and I will want you to go on a drive to share all the golden autumn colours……….sounds like you have grand plans for the fair……goodlcuk………

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